Our Management Team

Chief Executive Officer
Bassem Saad

Bassem Sa’ad is the Chief Executive Officer at Queen Rania Foundation. His recent transition follows a 4-year tenure as Deputy CEO and Chief Business Officer at Edraak, the leading platform for massive open online courses in the Arab world. He was responsible for ensuring that Edraak's efforts to educate almost two million learners across the region are sustainable and effective. As well as, leading the operations and strategy execution of Edraak’s support.

With over a decade of experience under his belt, Bassem has worked in both the private and public sectors. Bassem’s previous roles were centered on economic growth, namely working on SME growth, export development, and free trade agreements. He also oversaw the management of European Relations and cross-country collaboration agreements at Jordan's Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation.

Bassem holds a B.A. in Management from Al-Ahliyya University, and an International Diploma in Business from the University of Cambridge/TAG Business Academy. He had also received a Certificate of Readiness (HBX CORe) from the Harvard Business School and is also certified from the GeorgetownX Institute of Georgetown University on “Instructional Design and Blended Learning”.

Deputy CEO / Director of Strategic Planning
Walid Ammari

Walid Ammari is the Deputy CEO / Director of Strategic Planning at the Queen Rania Foundation as well as the Secretary of the Board of Directors.  He earned his BA in economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and his MBA in marketing and management from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  Walid comes with 14 years of diverse experience from the corporate world spanning across multiple business disciplines where he headed local and regional marketing communications programs for local and international brands, lead the creation and implementation of business strategies and developed customer experience management plans for various industries.  Prior to joining QRF, Walid held the position of Regional Customer Development Manager for the corporate division at Nuqul Group where he lead the marketing, customer relations, training, key account management and channel development activities for Jordan, Egypt, UAE, KSA and Morocco.  Prior to that, Walid headed a regional communications team at Ogilvy & Mather and managed several private business operations in Jordan.

CEO - UK Office - QRF
Nafez Dakkak

Nafez currently serves as the CEO of the Queen Rania Foundation’s office in London and is championing the Foundation’s global outreach and positioning as a leader in solving for impact in education in Jordan and the Arab world.

Previously, as the CEO of Edraak.org, Nafez had the honor of leading the inspiring team behind largest Arab online learning platform. Edraak aims to provide free high quality online and blended education to Arabic speakers across the region. It is the first Arabic instance of the OpenEdx platform developed by Harvard and MIT. Today, Edraak reaches over 1.5 million registered Arabic-speaking learners across the region. Edraak’s learners come from all across the region and include disadvantaged youth in Gaza, Syria, and Iraq. Edraak has played a pivotal role in the setup of other open learning platforms across the region.

Nafez was a strategy consultant with PwC’s Education Practice working with different governments across the GCC, focusing on education to employment transitions. Nafez is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shaper community (attending the Global Agenda Council Meeting in Dubai in 2012 and the Annual Summit in Davos in 2013 and 2015). Nafez writes on education reform and technology regularly in Arabic and English publications. While at Yale he completed a yearlong, award winning, thesis on the Obstacles towards Curriculum Reform in the Middle East, using Jordan and the UAE as case studies, of which the Mohammad Bin Rashed School of Government published an executive summary. In 2014, Nafez completed a 6 week fellowship with the New America Foundation in Washington D.C. working on the crossroads of Islamic education and Arab identity after the 2011 revolutions.

Director of Research and Program Development
Robert Palmer

Robert Palmer has been working on education and skills reform issues for the last 17 years. He has a PhD in development studies/education from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK), and a Master’s degree also from the University of Edinburgh. He is author of numerous peer-reviewed reports and articles, and has technical expertise in various aspects of education and skills development reform, and an excellent knowledge of global education issues.

Robert has been with the Queen Rania Foundation (QRF) since it began and heads the research and program development team. Prior to joining QRF, Robert worked at the Office of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah as the research manager in the office. He has previously worked as a consultant/researcher for the British Council, DFID, ETF, ILO, UNESCO, World Bank and others.

Edraak - CEO
Shireen Yacoub

As the Chief Executive Officer of Edraak, Shireen has the honor of leading the inspiring team behind the Arab world’s leading online learning platform. Edraak aims to provide free high quality online and blended education to Arabic speakers across the region. Today, Edraak reaches well over one million learners across the MENA region, including disadvantaged youth in Gaza, Syria, and Iraq.  Shireen pioneered the adoption of the Creative Commons License at Edraak, in an effort to catalyze for education reform and dissemination of Arabic open educational resources (OERs).

Previously, as the founding Chief Operating Officer of Edraak.org, Shireen led the platform’s partnerships with local, regional and international universities and managed content design and production operations for more than 300 hours of educational content. She also championed Edraak’s initiatives aimed at addressing the refugee education challenge.  

Prior to joining Edraak, Shireen worked on several economic development and youth employment programs. Shireen holds a B.A. degree in International and Human Resources from Manhattanville College, with minors in Communications and French. She is also a Certified Instructional Designer from the Association for Talent Development and holds several certificates from Harvard University and the GeorgetownX Institute of Georgetown University.

Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships
Dale Cooper

Dale began his career with Benetton Sports Systems, where he was responsible for coordinating marketing across 26 countries. He realised that the customer focused skills he had developed in the private sector could equally be applied to fundraising and made the move into the charity sector working for a number of national and international charities.

In 2007 he joined King's College London, where he was part of the hugely successful £500m WorldQuestions|King'sAnswers campaign. Whilst there, he was seconded to work on the implementation of the 2012 Review of Philanthropy in UK Higher Education. In 2014 he took up the post of Director of Development at the University of Reading, launching the IMAGINE campaign with a goal of £150million and 60,000 volunteer hours.

He has advised a number of institutions in the Gulf including universities, several royal foundations as well as individual Arab philanthropists. He is a fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce and is currently studying for an MA in Philanthropic Studies with the Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent.

People Operations Director
Bara Obeidat

Bara’ joins QRF with over 15 years of experience in Human Resources, organization improvement and human energy development. He has lead and consulted in the Human Resources / Training  function for several enterprises in Jordan including Orange, DHL Express, Al-Rajhi Group, News Group International, Elsevier, and IHG Hotels, Bara’ brings to QRF a rich mix of culture and multi industry experience that works to advance QRF’s human energy.

Senior Finance Manager
Firas Jallad

Firas Jallad has more than 10 years of leadership in Financial Management maintained with a diversified experience in banking, construction & commercial sector refined in non-profit sectors, with a focus in project and cash flow management, startup companies and establishing financial policies and procedures.

Firas previously worked at the Arab Bank as a Reconciliation Controller in the Financial Control Department. He was also the Finance Manager at Mid Contracting Company; and was the Finance & Administrative Manager at Modern Media Company which owns Play 99.6, Sunny 105.1 FM / Nashama Radio Stations, Part-an event management company- & The Online Project.

Firas is the Finance Manager at the Queen Rania Foundation, the finance department is responsible for the sustainability of the foundations’ funds as well as cash management.

Firas Holds a BA in Finance & Banking Sciences from Al-Yarmouk University and holds a CNAP (Certified Non Profit Accounting Professional) from Fiscal Management Associates– New York.